Today was the first full day of the conference, and two sessions were particularly remarkable. Debra Schultz, the author of Going South: Jewish Women in the Civil Rights Movement, spoke about the people in her book, and detailed the importance of the struggles in the civil rights movement. She also provided some fascinating insight into the sources in her book, and the choices she made while constructing her narrative.
Ms. Schultz is not just a skilled academic, but a dynamic presenter as well. You get the sense that her scholarship has a deeper significance for her, and that she really enjoys her work. She also had some comments on the pre-release American Experience civil rights documentary that they screened for us later this evening. (It's coming out in spring of 2011, and it's crazy solid.)
I also got excited about a session where we were paired with another educator in a similar teaching situation. I worked with Abby Sendak of the Foundation for Jewish Camp, where she is a faculty advisor for the Cornerstone Fellowship (of third-year Jewish sleepaway summer camp counselors). It was great to theorize about how we can tweak the lessons to work in a summer camp environment, both time-wise and tone-wise, and she had some great ideas for a longer-term camp program focusing on social justice and activism. I'm super-excited about the possibilities, and I can't wait to get back to camp to begin testing these lessons!
Also today, I was featured on the JWA blog "Jewesses with Attitude." I'm not a Jewess, but I gave a really great video quote during lunch, and they posted it with some fancy titles:
Technology update: I'm now on Twitter so I can tweet my live updates during this conference. (Really, I just got excited about this hashtag business, because it means that someone is guaranteed to read it.) Check me out @noahzaves, and follow me - I really do seek technological validation and approval. :-)